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Suit: Student rape victim called liar

Aug. 17, 2011 at 10:40 PM

REPUBLIC, Mo., Aug. 17 (UPI) -- A special education student who reported being raped by a classmate was told by school officials in Missouri they didn't believe her, a lawsuit alleges.

Republic School District officials referred the middle school girl to juvenile authorities, accusing her of filing a false report, and the girl recanted, the suit said, the Springfield News-Leader reported Wednesday.

The suit says officials ordered the girl to write an apology and deliver it to the boy after she reported being harassed, assaulted and raped by him during the 2008-09 school year and expelled her for the rest of the school year.

"School Officials acted recklessly in conscious disregard of and with deliberate indifference to the risk of (the girl's) safety by failing to conduct an investigation into her allegations of rape and sexual assault, by suspending her from school, and by failing to provide her with any protection from her rapist," the suit says.

The school district released a written response saying the allegations are "frivolous" and "have no basis in fact or law."

The girl was permitted to return to school in the 2009-10 school year, and the boy harassed and assaulted her -- which she didn't report for fear of being kicked out -- and raped her in February 2010, the suit says.

The girl's mother took her for testing and an exam showed a sexual assault had occurred, with DNA in semen on the girl matching that of the boy, the suit says. The boy was taken into custody and pleaded guilty to charges in Juvenile Court, the suit says, but it did not specify which charges.

The suit seeks unspecified damages.

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